One of the emerging water quality issues in New Mexico and at the national level is addressing PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. PFAS chemicals were detected in 2018 in groundwater at both Cannon and Holloman Air Force Bases here in New Mexico, impacting several dairy farms and private wells that surround the bases. 

PFAS chemicals are toxic, human-manufactured chemicals that can move through groundwater and biological systems. Human exposure to PFAS increases the risk of testicular, kidney and thyroid cancers as well as other severe illnesses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently only has a “health advisory level” set for PFAS contaminants in water but has not set a federal regulatory standard.

For more information on PFAS activities in New Mexico, please visit the New Mexico Environment Department website.